Experience the wonder of the gray whales, on this 5-day expedition in scenic Magdalena Bay on the Pacific coast of the Baja California peninsula where they come to mate and give birth to their calves before returning north towards the Bering Sea. You will also take part in a sea turtle conservation project recognized around the world as a model for community based conservation. From your secluded base camp on a tiny shell island, learn about the importance of the green sea turtle's survival and the role local fishermen play in the species' recovery, before heading out in pangas to capture and release turtles after recording vital data.
This trip supports research on black sea turtles as part of the Grupo Tortuguero program. This information provides vital data on health, migration patterns and habitat use of sea turtles in Magdalena Bay, ultimately providing policymakers and authorities with the tools they need to make strategic decisions towards the species' conservation.
Travelers also play an important role in conserving Magdalena Bay's natural resources, providing a complementary, sustainable source of employment in a zone plagued by overfishing and poaching. Your hosts on this trip are part of a rigorous training and business incubation program which instills community members with principles of social equity and environmental and community stewardship. This is complemented and strengthened by the genuine personal interaction between clients and staff.
> Departs from: La Paz
> Activities: Gray whales, Sea turtle monitoring, mangrove exploration, dune hikes, cultural interaction, bird watching, star gazing, gourmet cuisine.
> Kids under 11 are entitled to 30% discount with paid adult
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Your trip fees help fund educational excursions that get local youth out into Magdalena Bay to learn about the importance of their natural resources, in turn building stewards for the future conservation of Magdalena Bay.
What to Expect?
Day 1 – La Paz to Magdalena Bay
Depart from La Paz early in the morning en route to Magdalena Bay, jewel of the Pacific and home to a staggering number of migratory and marine birds, sea turtles, and marine mammals including the migratory gray whales. Breakfast will be provided en route at one of our favorite local ranchos. Settle into our secluded island camp and after happy hour, learn about the important sea turtle restoration project which will be the focus of tomorrow’s activities. Get a good night’s rest, tomorrow we search for turtles.
Day 2 – Sea Turtle Monitoring
Wake up early and grab a cup of coffee and watch the fisher-conservationists prepare the nets used in the sea turtle monitoring, or stay in bed and catch a few extra z’s. During breakfast we will learn about the monitoring protocol and how we can participate in the data collection. Every two hours you will have the chance to accompany the monitoring team in pangas to check the nets for turtles. Captured sea turtles will be transported to camp where we will help take measurements and other important data before releasing them back into the wild. Throughout the day you’ll have the chance to get all your questions about sea turtles. After dinner, take in the stars in a night sky that never disappoints.
Day 3 – Gray whale observation and mangrove exploration
Head down to the beach to finish measuring and weighing sea turtles before releasing them back into the wild, concluding the sea turtle monitoring portion of the trip. Today we will learn about the gray whales, their incredible migration, and the importance of Magdalena Bay for breeding and calving to these magnificent creatures. After a brief orientation, we will board the pangas and head out in search of gray whales. Friendly whales often approach the boats, and the mothers are known to push the young calves closer, which can make for an incredible interaction between two species. In the afternoon we explore the magic of the greater Magdalena Bay complex, it’s vast, rolling sand dunes and winding mangrove canals teeming with birdlife. Budding chefs can pop into the kitchen for a class on regional cuisine before dinner. Sit by the fire tonight and swap stories with your fisher guides and learn about the crucial role they play in conserving the natural resources of Magdalena Bay by combining tourism with conservation.
Day 4 – Gray Whales to La Paz
In the morning, walk down to the beach to learn artisanal fishing techniques from local fishermen. We will bid farewell to our hosts and head out in the search for whales. Make sure your camera is handy to capture images of these magnificent giants. After a picnic lunch on a secluded barrier island, we start back for La Paz where the journey concludes.
- Program ID: # 2513
- duration: Less than 1 Week
- location: Bahia Magdalena Bahia MagdalenaMexico24° 40' 42.1464" N, 112° 0' 59.7672" WMX
- Fitness level: Light Impact
- Closest Airport: Cabo San Lucas (SJD)
- Costs From: $1000 to $1500$1500 to $3000
- Program Type: Community Development ProjectsEnvironmental & Wildlife ProgramsLearn Abroad
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